Grovetown and Harlem leaders hope to use 2011-16 1-percent sales tax money this year to strike a few projects off their construction wish lists.
Grovetown City Administrator Shirley Beasley said she doesn't expect to start receiving any Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax funds until May or June, so no spending plans have been set in stone. But city officials hope to use about $100,000 to complete ongoing water infrastructure improvements along Robinson Avenue and a few smaller projects, including upgrades to larger water lines on a few residential streets.
Beasley said the city expects to get about $764,000 to purchase equipment for a fire service truck and turnout gear and possibly relocate the fire station away from railroad tracks.
Improvements to Goodale Park also are in the planning stages. Beasley said the project, which will be paid for by about $100,000 in SPLOST funds set aside for recreation, includes revamping the tennis and basketball courts.
"We're probably going to work on trying to fix that walking trail over there," Beasley said, adding that she expects work to start in a few months.
"Later on, when we get more money, we're going to try to revamp that whole park."
Harlem City Manager Jason Rizner is still organizing a prioritized list of projects that could be funded with the SPLOST. That list includes $350,000 for city vehicles and equipment; $718,000 for water and sewer infrastructure improvements; $200,000 for roads and sidewalks and other transportation projects; $850,000 to pay off the debt of the planned public safety building; and $250,000 for matching funds on a recreation grant, possibly for an outdoor pavilion, open-air market and walking trails.
"I'm still trying to put together a draft list to give to (city) council for them to review and make changes as they see fit," Rizner said. He expects to have the list ready for review in April.
The planning and construction of a new public safety building is expected to move forward as soon as financing is secured through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, whose allocation is dependent on the confirmation of the federal budget.
"The USDA process has taken a little longer than all of us would have anticipated," Rizner said.
He said he expects construction on the $2.4 million project to begin by the summer and to take about eight months.
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